Researchers Report Rice Gene that Confers Broad-spectrum Resistance to β-triketone Herbicides

Genomes of the genus Oryza, including both domesticated and wild species, have been well characterized because of the importance of rice to the global food supply. The wealth of genetic variation in rice varieties has allowed the identification of useful genes for crop breeding by map-based cloning methods. With regard to large-scale farming, in particular, weed control with the use of appropriate herbicides is critical for efficient crop production.

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Gene-edited Foods Are Safe, Japanese Panel Concludes

Japan will allow gene-edited foodstuffs to be sold to consumers without safety evaluations as long as the techniques involved meet certain criteria, if recommendations agreed on by an advisory panel yesterday are adopted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. This would open the door to using CRISPR and other techniques on plants and animals intended for human consumption in the country.

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First Steps to Understanding Biochemistry of how Plants Detect Odors

Plants don’t need noses to smell. The ability is in their genes. Researchers at the University of Tokyo have discovered the first steps of how information from odor molecules changes gene expression in plants. Manipulating plants’ odor detection systems may lead to new ways of influencing plant behavior.

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Bulking Up: Increasing Muscle Mass in Fish with Gene Editing

There may be concerns with genetically modified organisms (GMO), but the effectiveness of gene editing in developing more productive plants and animals for the agriculture industry can not be argued. With the rise of cheap and simple gene editing technologies, more and more breeds of animals and plants are being bred and raised with edited genetic code.

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Japan to Decide GE Labeling Requirements Soon

The Consumer Affairs Agency’s expert committee is expected to conclude its review of Japan’s
labeling requirements for genetically engineered foods at the end of March 2018. As a part of the
ongoing review, informal discussions have begun on a possible stricter threshold for the use of
voluntary “non-GE” labeling. However, some participating expert members have expressed concern
that foreign grain and oilseed supplies could be disrupted by a new, stricter standard. The concept of
tighter requirements for “non-GE” labeling is expected to be the focus of the next (and likely final)
expert committee meeting. Read more